Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or its characters...Neither do I own Wonderland; its characters and lyrics belong to Lewis Carroll. But I get credit for the idea of combining the two, right?
Author's Note: I finally started writing this one down. I'm not sure when the next section will be posted...There a few plot issues that need to be worked out. I'm afraid that the characters aren't too in character...but I can use the excuse that Abby is not quite herself... Also, I decided to go with a post-Twilight world, but we may see some of Kate later on ;-)
I. Down the Rabbit-Hole
"DAMMIT!" Abby Sciuto swore realizing what she was staring at under the microscope. It was too late to do anything about it, though.
The world became blurry and her legs gave way. She gripped the edge of the table to ease her fall as her butt hit the floor. Her hand slipped from the table as she fell over to lie flat on her back. The vertigo was overwhelming as she felt reality slipping away.
"Got to tell the others…" she whispered faintly as she began the fall into unconsciousness. "…white rabbit…white rabbit…"
All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide.
She was falling through the dark. It was a strange sensation, but not wholly unfamiliar. It brought back memories of when she was a child, jumping on her bed. She'd bounce up and down for hours on end, just for that split-second of weightlessness. That feeling of floating is what she was currently experiencing. It was strange because she was falling but it didn't feel like falling. She couldn't feel gravity acting upon her, pulling her mass towards…where was she headed anyway? Screw that! Where was she?
Her eyes having finally adjusted to the darkness, Abby surveyed her surroundings. She was in some sort of tunnel. There were shelves of books and cupboards all around the walls. It was all very strange. What was below her? She looked down, only to exclaim "Oh my!" over her clothing, and then pause briefly and wonder why she couldn't curse aloud. She returned her attention to her dress, no not dress, it could only be called a 'frock.' It was blue and had one of those white pseudo-aprons attached to the front. She pulled up the folds and stuck her foot out to check out its attire. At least there wasn't much change there. She was wearing black and white striped tights with mary-janes. At least those were kind of cute, she mused to herself. But what about her hair? She could feel that it wasn't fastened in its usual manner…
"A headband!" Abby exclaimed, her voice echoing around the deep space of the tunnel. "How early Nineties!"
Disgusted over how she was dressed she returned her attention to her location. She'd have to land sooner or later. Maybe she could fashion some sort of parachute to ease her fall, or maybe a grappling hook and rope to catch on a shelf and slow her descent Batman style. All she saw were books, and a few maps.
"Hello, what's this?" she said aloud as she plucked a jar of from a shelf. It was labeled "ORANGE MARMALADE." She opened it, but it was empty. "Well, what was the point of that then?"
She didn't want to drop it though, not for fear of killing some, for fear of the thousands of shards of glass it would shatter into when it crashed to the ground alongside her. So she struggled with a cupboard as she fell past and managed to stash the empty marmalade jar inside.
"Will this fall ever end?" Abby began to become very frustrated over not being able to do anything but fall and fall and fall. "I wonder how far I've fallen? Probaby miles and miles! This place bites! For all I know I'm making a far more speedy Journey to the Center of the Earth! I wonder what Latitude and Longitude I've gotten to…
"Well, if I'm falling straight down, then the longitude and latitude should be the same as where I started from…Where did I start from?" Something vague and distant popped into her mind. "I have to warn the others! Where's Gibbs!"
It faded as quickly as it appeared, and she continued to ponder her destination. "Maybe I'll fall right through the Earth. Where would I end up? Well, what's equidistant from where I started? Where did I start?"
This time no memory was conjured up and she strained her mind to think of where she had started or what she had been doing prior to falling.
"Maybe I've always been falling," Abby mused to herself. But that wasn't right she remembered other things. Besides, who would have given her a name if she had always been falling? There was no one else there. And she did have a name, of that she was certain! Well, not so certain, so she felt the need to say it aloud. "My name is Abby. Hmm…maybe that doesn't sound quite right. I'll try some others. My name is Sarah…Rebecca…Alice? No it must-" when suddenly thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.
Surprisingly, Abby found herself not to be hurt in the least. She jumped up onto her feet, glad to finally have solid ground beneath them. It was slightly disorienting at first, for she had fallen for so long to have become accustomed to the feeling of being in suspension. She looked up at where she had fallen from but could not even make out the opening which she must have fallen through.
"That's odd," she thought to herself. "There's usually an opening at the top of a tunnel. But there's nothing but darkness above."
Ahead of her was a passage, and inside it was a large "White Rabbit!" (Abby exclaimed) who was scurrying away in the opposite direction. Something deep down told her that this was very important. But what exactly was important? Maybe the White Rabbit would know. Abby decided to hurry after it and arrived just in time to hear it say "Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!" before losing it around a corner.
She now found herself in a hall lined with doors, poorly lit by lamps hanging from the low ceiling. Since she had nowhere else to go and the White Rabbit had vanished without a trace, Abby decided to try some of the doors. After trying every door up and down the hall, she threw up her hands in surrender and began walking towards the direction she had entered. She came upon a three-legged table in the middle of the hall, which she could have sworn wasn't there a matter of a few minutes ago. She placed her hand on the table. It was cool and made of a clear material, probably plastic. She made a fist and rapped on it, to discover it was made entirely of glass; very classy. And wait a tick, there was a tiny gold key lying upon the top. Abby picked it up and examined it.
"A skeleton key!" she admired it for a brief moment, thinking how wonderful a necklace it would make, before finally going around to try it on all of the doors, only to discover it wasn't made for any of them. This place was becoming very trying, even on her normally perky demeanor. "HMPH! Now what?"
"Wait, what's that?" Abby noticed a curtain she hadn't noticed before. Pulling it back, she discovered a small door was hidden behind it. She tried the small golden skeleton key in the lock. This time it turned and with an audible click, she was able to open the door. She had to get down on her hands and knees to look through the door and beyond to the strange looking garden it held entrance to. It looked like a fun garden, not the boring Martha Stewart kind, but the hedge maze, psycho killer type of garden that belonged in front of an ancient haunted mansion or castle. Abby really longed to go through the door and explore the garden but alas she would not fit. Maybe her head would, but there was no way her shoulders or the rest of her would be able to follow. Seeming as how she could not detach her head from he body, Abby turned back to the hall disappointed.
"What's this?" Abby found herself saying aloud as she saw something new sat upon the glass table. It was a glass bottle, and around the neck was a little sign that read "DRINK ME" printed in large exquisite type ("Bookman Old Style" Abby noted to herself). It very much went against all of Abby's instincts to drink something simply because it said "DRINK ME" but her options were not numerous. She picked up the bottle, and pulling the stopper ventured a sniff. It didn't smell like ammonia or any other poisons, but of course there were plenty of poisons that had no odor at all.
"Oh well," Abby ultimately decided. "When in Rome…" (or "wonderland" stuck in her mind more readily).
She took a taste of the liquid. It was surprising. It tasted like a CAFPOW!
"What's a CAFPOW?" she found herself wondering before her thoughts were interrupted by a curious feeling growing inside of her. "I feel like I'm…shutting up like a telescope…for lack of a better metaphor…"
And she did indeed find herself to have shrunk to not more than ten inches high. Abby began to become fearful. What if she didn't stop shrinking? How small would she get? Eventually her lungs wouldn't be able to metabolize the air molecules and she would suffocate. That would be a horrible, dreadful death. Lucky for her, she didn't seem to shrink any further. "And I'm just the right size to fit through that door!"
She hurried over to the small door, only to discover that she hadn't the small gold key anymore. She had set it on top of the glass table, which she could no longer reach because of her short stature.
"Way to think things through, Abby!" she scolded herself, tears beginning to threaten. "Gibbs would never have done something so stupid!"
She began to cry as she discovered how distraught she was and how hopeless her situation. She did not even know who "Gibbs" was, let alone why she would mention his name. She was stuck in this dreadful hall, and she was so small someone would probably come by and want a rest, and sit on her and would smother her to death! Even worse, she might be stuck there forever! She glared hatefully at her surroundings to discover yet again something had appeared where nothing was before. She would have to try harder to catch these things when they materialized.
It was a small glass case; well it was large to the now tiny Abby Sciuto. She walked over to it and pried the top open. Inside there was a very small cake, a cupcake to her, with the words EAT ME written on it in black frosting. This time, Abby decided to think things through.
"If it makes me taller, I can reach the key," she considered aloud. "If it makes me smaller, I might be able to creep under the door. So either way, I have a good chance of getting into the garden and out of this drab hallway."
With that she picked up the cupcake and made quick work of it. She hadn't thought she was hungry, but apparently the trip down-"the rabbit hole" came to mind-had caused her to work up quite an appetite.
"So….what happens now?" Abby asked the very strange world in general.
Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?
"I want to know who's responsible for this!" Gibbs barked from outside the hospital room where Abby currently resided. He had been the one who found her lying unconscious on the floor of her lab. He had been bringing her one of her favorite energy drinks in exchange for an update on the evidence processing for their latest case. Tony hadn't seen Gibbs this angry since Kate had been killed. But at least he was acting like normal Gibbs, not that weird Gibbs he met after Kate died.
"We're working on it, Boss," Tony replied. He wanted to help Abby as much as anyone there. She was his friend, too.
"It doesn't look like you're working on it, Dinozzo," Gibbs snapped at him. "It looks to me like you're just standing around."
Zivah and McGee gave Tony sympathetic looks. They felt bad for him, but didn't want to be the focus of Gibbs' anger either.
"Yes, boss," Tony conceded. It was best not to argue with the man when he was like this. "I'll head back to check up on the forensic geeks. They might have made progress analyzing Abby's lab."
"Wait, Tony," Gibbs ordered. "I want you to stay here and keep an eye on her. McGee, go see if those incompetent numbskulls can do half as good a job as Abby at analyzing the evidence. Zivah, you're coming with me."
When no one moved, he gave them a Gibbs-death glare and they all dispersed, except for Tony, who turned to stare through the glass into the dark hospital room. It was very strange and disturbing to see the perky lab rat lying so still. At least she was breathing on her own, so there were no tubes making her look all pathetic. They had told them she was in a coma. They had no clue what induced it, but according to Gibbs' gut, which Tony never doubted, it was foul play.
Unfortunately, for Zivah, she had not yet come to place the unwavering trust in Gibbs' gut everyone else had.
"How do we even know that Abby's coma is not the result of a natural cause?" Zivah voiced her doubt as she tried to keep up with Gibbs' maddening pace through the hospital.
"I know," Gibbs replied staunchly. He shoved open a swinging glass door and reentered the outside world. The sun was shining, but it wouldn't be for whoever did this to Abby, at least not when Gibbs found them.
"Right," Zivah muttered to herself as she followed the determined ex-marine. "Gibbs' gut…"
Author's Final Note: Are the poetry-breaks okay? Or are they too distracting? They're from the preface of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...